Brewers begin life without Roenicke in opener with Dodgers

( – A slow start to the season cost Milwaukee Brewers
manager Ron Roenicke his job on Sunday night.

But the show must go on for the Brewers, as they get set to host the Los
Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series at Miller Park on Monday.
The Brewers are expected to announce Craig Counsell as Roenicke’s replacement
at a press conference earlier in the day.

“This has been a difficult start to the season — something that we certainly
didn’t anticipate,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement.
“It’s all about wins and losses, and after the first month of play this year
we didn’t see the progress and improvement we had hoped for.

At 7-18, the Brewers sit at the bottom of the National League Central Division
standings and are hitting just .221 with a .278 on-base percentage as a team.
They missed out on the playoffs last season despite a 6 1/2-game division lead
on June 28.

Milwaukee did manage to take two of three from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley
Field over the weekend. The team now begins a 10-game homestand.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers find themselves perched atop the NL West standings with
a three-game lead over San Diego. The Dodgers are seeking a fifth consecutive
win after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks at home this weekend, although six
of their eight losses on the season have come on the road.

Reigning National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw gets
the nod for Los Angeles in Monday’s opener. The southpaw is just 1-2 with a
3.73 ERA through five starts but is second in the league with 43 strikeouts
against only seven walks in 31 1/3 innings.

Kershaw took the loss against San Francisco his last time out, although he
yielded just two runs in seven innings and fanned eight with no walks.

“I had a little better command of everything,” he said. “The slider is just a
little bit better, but not where I want it. Some good, some bad.”

Milwaukee will turn to veteran Kyle Lohse, who sits at 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA
after five starts. The right-hander served up three home runs in Cincinnati
his last time out. But on a positive note, Lohse has lasted seven innings in
each of his last two outings.

This marks the first meeting of the year between these two clubs. The Brewers
had the Dodgers’ number in 2014, winning five of six meetings.